10 Food Experiences You Need to Have in Milan Before You Die

Milan Photo + Video + Film Insider Guides Food + Drink
by Austin Sawhill Mar 4, 2016

Admit it. You‘re expecting pizza and pasta. Well, prepare yourself, because here in Milan there’s a lot more you need to try…

1. Simple and sweet

Start things off right in Milan. There’s no better way to kick off the ultimate food tour than with the perfect breakfast… or brunch (let’s be real, you’re on vacation). The basic requirements: an espresso or cappuccino and a brioche, as the Milanesi call it (elsewhere you can ask for a “cornetto”). From there, feel free to venture out into the sweet or savory. There are countless spots to choose from, so you can keep it simple and traditional, or go all out for a table full of goods.

Where to go:

Pasticcerie Marchesi – Via Santa Maria alla Porta, 11a (The original founded in 1824) OR Via Monte Napoleone, 9 (The new location spearheaded by Prada)

Pavé – Via Felice Casati, 27

Enjoying a raspberry tart + cappuccino & croissant breakfast this morning w/ @anddicted 🙌🏼😋❤️ What did you have for breakfast today?✨

A photo posted by marianna zuliani (@mary.land) on

2. High class at high altitude

Grab the elevator and shoot right to the roof at Ceresio 7, the restaurant and bar owned by the powerhouse pair behind Dsquared². Just as you would expect from a restaurant owned by fashion designers, this place is elegant and sleek. Think traditional pasta, risotto, fish, and meat dishes with a modern twist. Book a reservation for a romantic dinner or go easy on the wallet and arrive after hours for a cocktail at one of the swankiest locales of the city.

Ceresio 7 – Via Ceresio, 7

Beautiful day in Milan for a cocktail hangout @ceresio7 terrace! #Ceresio7 #milano #expo2015

A photo posted by Ceresio 7 (@ceresio7) on

3. Tradition calls

There’s a time and place for the trendy hotspots, but sometimes you just need some good traditional cooking. Step into an old school trattoria and order a Cotoletta or Costoletta alla Milanese in your best Italian accent (you’ll make friends whether you butcher it or not), and prepare for a 1 inch-thick, bone-in veal cutlet fried in butter. Whatever you do, DO NOT compare it to Wiener Schnitzel, because you will very quickly lose those friends you just made…

Where to go:

Trattoria Madonnina – Via Gentilino, 6

L’Altra Isola – Via Edoardo Porro 8

Da Martino – Via Carlo Farini 8

When in #Milan you eat #cotolettaallamilanese at my favourite local #courtyard ! #Italy #simplicity #food #traditional

A photo posted by Mark Farhat Giusti (@markfarhatgiusti) on

4. Everyone’s favorite

So there are other things to try, but you can’t not eat pizza while in Milan… It’s one of the world’s favorite foods and the hardest part is going to be choosing which restaurant to eat at.

Where to go:

Gino Sorbillo, Lievito Madre al Duomo – Largo Corsia dei Servi, 11

Maruzzella – Piazza Guglielmo Oberdan, 3

Piccola Ischia – Via Giovanni Battista Morgagni, 7

throwback pizza ! 💙🍕💜

A photo posted by Matteo Visentini (@wuise) on

5. Upscale dining

I’m willing to bet you had no idea Milan was a great place for caviar. Nearby in Brescia, some of the best caviar in the world is produced on the largest sturgeon farm in all of Europe. So live like royalty and get a taste at one of the very few restaurants where it’s served, Trussardi alla Scala.

Trussardi alla Scala – Piazza della Scala, 5

Caviar addiction! #CalvisiusCaviar

A photo posted by Calvisius Caviar USA (@calvisiuscaviarusa) on

6. Quirky bites

If you’re a fan of the director and his quirky films, you’re going to love Bar Luce in Milan for a coffee, cake, or happy hour, conveniently located in the Fondazione Prada. It’s one of the most unique places in the city and EVERYTHING is in Anderson’s signature style – the man himself designed it. Stick around for a tour in the Fondazione Prada, which is definitely worth a visit.

Bar Luce – Largo Isarco, 2

Wes Anderson’s #barluce #fondazioneprada

A photo posted by Thanos Tsikalakis (@thanostsik) on

7. I scream, you scream, we all scream for Gelato

Another one of those absolute musts. Gelato is just better here and even more so on a hot day. Grab a cup, a cone, or a brioche (highly recommended) and take a stroll along the Navigli (the canals). My personal favorite is pistachio and gianduja from the Gelateria della Musica.

Where to go:

Gelateria della Musica – Via Giovanni Enrico Pestalozzi, 4

Ciacco – Via Spadari, 13 (With options for vegans)

Il Massimo del Gelato – Via Lodovico Castelvetro, 18

A photo posted by may🍞 (@mayafteryou) on

8. “When in Rome Milan”

If you’re in Milan, you have to try this one – Risotto alla Milanese with Ossobuco. One of my absolute favorites and THE Milanese dish. Rich and creamy saffron flavored risotto is paired with cross-cut veal shank…yum!

Where to go:

Trattoria Masuelli San Marco – Viale Umbria, 80

Ratanà – Via Gaetano de Castillia, 28

Antica Trattoria della Pesa – Viale Pasubio, 10

Ossobuco alla Milanese. #italianfood #cucinaitaliana #risottoallozafferano #ossobucoallamilanese #mangiarebene #carne

A photo posted by Fabio Morabito Redix (@fabiomorabitoredix) on

9. The Secret Garden

This place is a farmers’ market, a wine cellar, a hostel, a community garden, an event venue and an amazing restaurant and bar. Locally produced food and drink in one of the most relaxed atmospheres in Milan is guaranteed, and if you’re lucky enough to visit with nice weather, I suggest grabbing a table outside in the garden with friends.

Cascina Cuccagna (Un Posto a Milano) – Via Privata Cuccagna, 2

10. L’aperitivo

The aperitif, or happy hour, is Milan’s specialty. The city is chock-full of places to grab a cocktail and a bite to eat to hold you over before dinner. Most times, you’ll pay for a drink and free food follows, sometimes in the form of a buffet. Be sure to try out different neighborhoods, as each one offers a different kind of vibe. Cheers, and happy eating.

Where to go:

Terrazza Aperol – Piazza del Duomo

Fonderie Milanesi (snag a table on the patio if you can) – Via Giovenale, 7

Da Otto – Via Paolo Sarpi, 8

N’Ombra de Vin – Via San Marco, 2

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